David Ashley and Mike Coubrough
L to R: David Ashley and Mike Coubrough

This post was written by David Ashley, Senior Vice President, Product Operations at Cisco and Mike Coubrough, Senior Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Logistics at Cisco.

Today, on World Nature Conservation Day and in support of our commitment to a circular economy, we are excited to announce that Cisco will eliminate all paper documentation included in product shipments by the end of 2021!

World Conservation Day is celebrated internationally to increase awareness about the need to protect our planet’s natural resources. We all rely on this finite supply of resources, such as water, air, trees, food, and minerals. But our planet’s ecosystem faces many threats, such as deforestation, illegal trade in wildlife, pollution, and the impacts of climate change. To preserve the earth for future generations, we must reduce the negative environmental impacts of human activity and support the natural world as much as we can.

Cisco is committed to moving from a linear economy to a circular economy that makes better use of our limited natural resources. This work includes designing out waste and pollution from our products and packaging. Today, for many of Cisco’s hardware products and software solutions, millions of sheets of paper are shipped annually alongside the product in the form of licenses, manuals, and compliance documentation. By eliminating these paper shipments and moving more fully to electronic delivery, we can reduce our material use, waste, cost, and bottlenecks in the manufacturing process, as well as enhance the customer experience.

This project is a highly collaborative effort, which relies on cross-functional support from our Product Operations, Global Manufacturing and Logistics, Circular Economy, Design, Compliance, and Legal teams. We are taking a phased approach over the coming year toward achieving our no paper goal. Our initial 100-day sprint kicked off in June, and we are focusing on early adopters, including our enterprise switching, routing, wireless, small business, and IoT products. In phase 2, we will expand this initiative to the rest of the organization. Exceptions to this policy will be allowed where it is business critical or legally required for the product to include paper documents in the shipment. 

For more information on Cisco’s circular economy initiatives, please visit our website.


Lisa Brady

Director, Supply Chain Sustainability & Circular Economy

Operations – Supply Chain Transformation (SCT)